Back to Work in January

Today was the first day back to work after a much-needed three-week vacation. There’s no tired like end-of-term-as-a-newbie-teacher-in-a-new-country tired. Traveling back to the U.S. after a full year abroad was not only a welcome break from work, but a break from the chaos and heat of Bangkok as well. Even though I had the end-of-break scaries yesterday and really did not want to do the work on Monday, I actually felt refreshed and energized to be back today. (No signs of jet lag either!)

One thing that has been very different about returning abroad after the new year compared to the last 8 year in Budapest is returning back to “summer.” I’d gotten so used to January being a month of hibernation with 4 p.m. sunsets and freezing temperatures. Normally, I would come back from the Christmas holidays and find a permanent spot on the couch with a cozy blanket, some candles, and a pot of soup cooking in the kitchen. Today, on the other hand, I left for work in sandals and a tank top carrying a tumbler of iced coffee. (Thankfully, the weather is slightly cooler this month, so I’m not drowning in sweat by the time I get to work!) It’s such a different vibe and feels very weird to not have that dead of winter, slower pace that I am used to.

Speaking of pace, I am starting to anticipate the race of time toward the summer holidays. I know it’s weird to be already thinking of summer, but every year January is a little hump to get over and then suddenly summer is here before I know it. We have six weeks until February vacation, another six weeks until April vacation, and then the countdown will be on for the end of the school year in mid-June. I’m not sure what I will do with the two upcoming breaks yet, but I’ve already bought my ticket for the start of summer.

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